SEAT Ateca Review 2022

SEAT Ateca At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
It might be starting to show its age, but the SEAT Ateca is still one of the best family SUVs you can buy.

+Probably the best handling car in its class. Lots of room for those in the back along with a large boot. Good value for money. Range of economical and swift engines.

-No spare wheel as standard. Cabin design is a bit dated. Firmer ride than some rivals. No hybrid variant of any sort.

New prices start from £18,675, brokers can source from £22,885
Insurance Groups are between 9–18
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

The SEAT Ateca is the Spanish brand's first attempt at an SUV. Launched back in 2016, it was very lightly updated in 2020, meaning it's one of the oldest models in the hotly competitive family SUV class. It shares much with the Skoda Karoq, which is fairly obvious to see if you park them side-by-side. Read our SEAT Ateca review to find out all you need to know.

The most important of many rivals for the SEAT Ateca are the Nissan Qashqai, the Kia Sportage, the Hyundai Tucson and the Ford Kuga, though there are many more offerings, some with premium badges. 

Key to the Ateca's enduring appeal in the face of newer rivals is its driving experience. Even years on from launch you'd be hard-pushed to find a better handling SUV of this size, because the Ateca feels keen and agile in the bends whichever model you go for. The trade off is a firm ride that smooths out at speed. 

Even if you're not driving like your hair's on fire, you'll find the SEAT Ateca easy to drive and refined on the move. Visibility is very good, while it feels very much like a taller Leon (which it basically is). 

There's also a range of excellent engines, ranging from a 1.0-litre three cylinder that punches above its weight, to a punchy and economical 2.0-litre diesel. There's no real weak link in the engine lineup, although the higher powered petrols are fitted with a DSG transmission that is a bit dim-witted if you want to pull away quickly. The lack of a hybrid option also shows the Ateca up as an older model now. 

The low-to-mid level SE Technology is the best choice if you want plenty of equipment without breaking the bank as it comes with dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen sat-nav, 18-inch alloys and wireless phone charging.

But whichever version you go for, you get a spacious and practical interior that'll stand up well to the rigours of family life thanks to solid build quality. Yes, the design is starting to show its age, particularly around newer offerings such as the Tucson and Sportage, but the simple dashboard design means everything is easy to use. 

We lived with a Ateca for six months - find out how we got on with it in our SEAT Ateca long term test. Looking for a second opinion? Why not read heycar's SEAT Ateca review

Ask Honest John

I've bought a car with missing documents - what can I do?
"I purchased a 68 plate SEAT Ateca two weeks and a number of items were missing. At the time of the sale, the dealer pointed out to me that the V5 was missing and that a replacement had to be ordered. Also missing was the SD card for the navigation maps and I have since discovered that the manual and the service history are also missing. The dealership claims that the listing for the car did say "SD card required" in relation to the navigation feature, but I am unable to verify this as the listing was pulled within minutes of the sale (I raised this issue on site). I failed to notice that the manual and service history were missing at the time of the sale (I assumed, not unreasonably, that both would be present on a one owner, two and half year old car... More fool me). I'm not sure what I can do from this point. The dealer has a seven-day returns policy and a 'sold as seen' clause in the sales contract. How much does a lack of service record impact the value of the car? Do I have any options?"
If the car was advertised with a "full service history and sat nav" but didn't mention the missing SD card and documents then you may have grounds to argue it does not match the description and was mis-sold. Likewise, if the salesperson promised things that are no longer true then you may have grounds to return the car. If not, the dealer may argue that you had every opportunity to inspect the car and accepted its condition at the time of sale. If I had to make a guess, I'd say the previous owner has sold the SD card. The service history, however, may be reclaimable if you can identify the SEAT garage that originally sold the car. But they may charge you for this service. You can download the owner's manual here: https://www.seat.co.uk/owners/your-seat/manuals-offline.html For your consumer rights, see: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/how-to-reject-a-car-your-consumer-rights/
Answered by Dan Powell
DSG - do I put it in neutral when stopped at traffic lights?
"I have a SEAT Ateca 1.5 petrol DSG 2021 model. Do you have to take out of drive and put it into neutral or park when stood at lights, or heavy traffic, or would I do any damage just leaving it in drive?"
Unless you're going to be stopped for an extended period, leave it in drive with your foot on the brake (or 'auto hold' enabled). Bear in mind that doing this will keep your brake lights illuminated – a good thing if you have no one behind you and want to be seen easily by approaching traffic; a bad thing if it's dark and someone's right behind you being blinded by your lights.
Answered by Andrew Brady
When should I change the cam belt on my car?
"My SEAT Ateca has done 70,000 miles and is four and a half years old, when should the cam belt be changed?"
I'd argue it needs doing now. Most cam belt problems we hear about occur after five years and/or 60,000 miles. The water pump will also need to be changed.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which SEAT Ateca model is best?
"What’s the best SEAT Ateca model to buy?"
A mid-spec SEAT Ateca like the SE Technology or FR strikes a good balance between affordability and desirable equipment. We'd recommend the 1.5 TSI petrol engine unless you cover a lot of motorway miles, in which case the 2.0 TDI would be a better option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a SEAT Ateca cost?

Buy new from £22,885(list price from £26,085)